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SI Student FAQ

Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides an opportunity for students to actively and deeply learn course content by engaging in discussion with peers enrolled in the class. These groups are not meant to be tutoring or review sessions.  The Leaders prepare session plans to encourage and guide students in teaching and learning with each other. It is offered through the Academic Achievement Hub at UC San Diego.

Top reasons to attend a SI session:  

Understand the subject better

Students can hear different perspectives on the subject and therefore understand it from more than one position. This is useful in real-world settings where more than one solution or understanding bolsters creative and analytical thinking.

Get better grades

SI can help solidify and clarify the material, leading to a more promising classroom experience, and potentially a higher GPA! By understanding the subject and feeling motivated, students will feel more willing to do better in class, on tests, and on assignments.

In a way, SI is also a built-in tutoring session. For those who know the material, it is a great way to review and refine their understanding of it, and for those struggling, they gain a fresh perspective that might suit their learning style better. Some students might be better at explaining the material to their classmates, which helps everyone better understand the material.

Gain diverse, multifaceted insight

Different students might uncover different themes or theories, so studying with others can be an eye-opening experience. With students sharing the burden of distilling dense material (e.g. textbook, primary literature, etc.) they will appreciate the broader context of their studies more than tackling it alone.

Maintain responsibilities for learning

Each student shares ideas and thoughts about a particular subject to enable all students to feel more apt to participate, promoting responsibility, education, and team building.

Gain team experience

Learning how to get along well with others in a team-oriented environment can show potential employers that an interviewee is focused, patient, well-rounded, and an overall team player. Get the valuable experience of discovering your strengths and weaknesses as early as possible.

Promote time management and reduce procrastination

Surrounding oneself with motivated, serious students can help get the ball rolling on assignments, and can become the building block to success!

Improve problem solving skills

By learning how to adapt to the work and study styles of others, students will sharpen their problem-solving skills. When there are 3-5 conflicting ideas, theories, and practices in a single group, students must decipher which idea is the best; this takes patience, sacrifice, and essential skills to resolve the issue.

In a positive way, this kind of healthy debate is also good for students. Being challenged to defend your ideas, perspectives, and find solutions that suit others, not just yourself, will be needed in every other area in life as well.